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BBC’s £10million deluge of Leftie propaganda


This is the first of an occasional series in which David Keighley delves into the alarming content of a £10million BBC initiative – nearly 600 short videos, many made by the usual Left-wing suspects.

PETER Mullen recently penned a sharply perceptive TCW piece on the corrosive impact of ‘woke’ ideology, in which he highlighted Italian communist Antonio Gramsci’s goal of ‘a long march through the institutions’ to destroy Western civilisation and all it stands for

The BBC long since succumbed to that process – the stormtroopers were in action from the Sixties onwards, and their flagship programmes such as Play for Today peddled Marxist and anti-establishment ideas from their inception. 

An indication that the takeover is nearing completion has been taking shape over the past four years and is called BBC Ideas.

Never heard of it? Neither had we at News-watch until recently. It’s an assemblage of almost 600 short self-contained videos of a few minutes each aimed at ‘curious minds’ and available via the BBC website. 

This £10million project  – those who make the videos receive around £1,200 a minute for their labours – is a key part of the corporation’s desperate attempt to win young (18-34) viewers. It was dreamed up by James Purnell, the former Labour culture secretary who was hired by former BBC director general Tony Hall as one of his management lackeys, with the eventual title of Director of BBC Radio and Education before he left in October to continue his propaganda mission as vice-chancellor of the University of the Arts. 

BBC Ideas stands as a testimony to his time at the corporation and scrutiny shows the alarming extent to which ‘woke’ ideology has taken root and dominates output. 

 So what’s the content? When the project was launched in January 2018 Mr Purnell said it would include ‘thought-provoking’, ‘trustworthy’ items not available elsewhere, and would be made with ‘leading institutions’ and ‘original minds’.

Let’s translate that. What he meant was that the BBC was getting into bed with the usual suspects such as the Left-dominated Open University and think tanks to spend millions on a deluge of content which fits the ‘woke’ BBC worldview. 

The range of titles is bogglingly confusing. Said Ideas range from burning issues such as whether we are defecating correctly to the hidden meaning of music hall lyrics, and from ‘what quantum physics taught me about queer identity’ to a brief history of the nipple – the latter, of course, a diatribe against sexism. 

I have in a drawer a Christmas stocking-filler from eons ago entitled 1,339 Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, such as ‘a tick is ten times larger after dinner than before’. It feels almost as though the BBC hired the author to curate the Ideas catalogue.  

News-watch has transcribed all the videos, and our initial findings are that almost half are distinctly biased and contain open and unchallenged advocacy of ‘woke’ controversial views. For example, Islamist terrorism is the British government’s responsibility, not the individuals who perpetrate it (they are all victims of an uncaring oppressive state); most of the world’s maps are Western and racist because they don’t show the true size of Africa; eliminating the use of fossil fuels is vital and will lead to ‘Newtopia’ with cheap renewable energy for everyone in the world; that social structures and conventions such as marriage are outmoded (as unfashionable as ‘last year’s smartphone’); the goals of Black Lives Matter must be implemented to eliminate racism; socialism is better than other types of social and political structures; meat-eating must be abandoned because cows fart and cause climate change, and life on earth is in serious and imminent danger of being wiped out. 

A striking example of the contrived editorial effort to introduce political dimensions to practical subjects is the innocuously titled video ‘Why do we have so much stuff?’ The producer suggests that the fashion industry has ‘impacted’ climate change, and therefore buying new clothes should be frowned upon. No mention, of course, that reducing clothes consumption would put thousands of people in developing countries – the vulnerable poor – out of work.

What of views advocating a more conservative and traditional perspective on the world? You have to search very hard to find them. One features Jordan Peterson compressing his 12 Rules for Life into four minutes, and even that is prefaced with a warning that his views are ‘controversial’. No such warnings are attached to ‘woke’ advocates in the deluge of other videos. Another needle in the haystack is Elizabeth Oldfield of the Theos think tank talking (loosely) about the importance of Christianity, and a Benedictine monk argues that prayer can be comforting. About a dozen others contain mildly conservative points, but that’s it. 

Around half the titles we have marked broadly ‘neutral’, mostly because they are on topics which are not at all controversial, such as whether you are tying your shoelaces wrongly. 

News-watch is preparing a detailed report on BBC Ideas because in microcosm it indicates the scale of the rot which has overtaken the corporation, and shows starkly that any idea of impartiality has now been abandoned in the pursuit of advocacy of ‘progressive’ ideas. Over the coming weeks, we will be highlighting in further TCW blogs other issues raised by our analysis. 

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David Keighley
David Keighley
Former BBC news producer, BBC PR executive and head of corporate relations for TV-am. Director of News-watch.

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